Tag Archives: Seaward Enterprises Association of Newfoundland and Labrador

SEA-NL: Fish price-setting ‘fiasco’; minister did not refer complaint to labour board

Seaward Enterprises Association of Newfoundland and Labrador says the province’s failure to have reports investigated that some processors may have paid less than the “binding” snow crab price further undermines government’s fish price-setting system. “Paying even one cent less than the binding price undermines government’s pricing system over the entire $1 billion-plus commercial fishing industry,” says Ryan Cleary, SEA-NL’s Executive Director. “Every other day there’s another example of how the fish pricing system in this province has become a fiasco.” Provincial Fisheries Minster Derrick Bragg told at least one enterprise owner late last month the province’s labour relations board was looking into reports that some processors were paying less than the minimum $6.15/lb snow crab price. >click to read< 13:12

SEA-NL calls for elimination of province’s farcical system of fish pricing before fisheries lost

“There is no point in government being involved in negotiating the price of fish when its appointed panel does not have the power to enforce one price or the other, and its decisions do not result in commercial fisheries,” says Ryan Cleary, SEA-NL’s Executive Director. “The existing system has collapsed with processors refusing to buy for the prices that are set, and inshore fleets remaining tied to the wharf,” he added. “Both sides must stick it out at the negotiating table until a price or contract is hammered out like with any other collective agreement.” >click to read< 16:16

Make-or-break moment for province’s Liberal MPs; seal vote goes before Parliament on Wednesday

Seaward Enterprises Association of Newfoundland and Labrador (SEA-NL) is calling on the province’s six Liberal Members of Parliament to vote for a bill before Parliament Wednesday (July 15th) that would force Fisheries and Oceans to implement seal management plans. “This is one of those make-or-break moments for our Members of Parliament when they must decide whether they represent Newfoundland and Labrador in Ottawa or the other way around,” says Ryan Cleary, Executive Director of SEA-NL, and a former NDP MP.  “Seals eat fish just as surely as MPs need votes.” Bill C-251 calls on the federal minister of Fisheries and Oceans to develop management plans for pinnipeds — including seals, sea lions, and walruses on the East and West coasts and Northern Canada. >click to read< 09:00

SEA-NL demands province allow inshore fleet to truck snow crab out of province

Seaward Enterprises Association of Newfoundland and Labrador (SEA-NL) demands the provincial government allow owner-operators to truck snow crab out of province given some local processors have stopped buying. “If processors will not buy snow crab then fishermen who can find mainland buyers must be able to truck out their crab or the entire industry will shut down,” says Jason Sullivan, President of SEA-NL and a Bay Bulls fisherman. “There are no jobs left to protect.” At least two processing companies, Notre Dame Seafoods and Quinlan’s, reportedly stopped buying crab on Friday. >click to continue< 11:21

SEA-NL on increase in snow crab processing capacity

“More competition in the processing sector should mean more opportunity for inshore boats to land crab quotas faster, with less expense, and safer for all hands,” says Ryan Cleary, SEA-NL’s Executive Director. The province’s Fish Processing Licensing Board today approved two of four applications for fish processing licenses — including a new primary processing license for groundfish, whelk, and snow crab (2.5 million/lbs) for St. Mary’s Bay Fisheries Ltd., and doubling the amount of crab Dandy Dan’s Fish Market of Argentia can purchase to two million pounds per year. >click to read< 11:29

SEA-NL calls for public inquiry into fishing vessel safety, search and rescue

Seaward Enterprises Association of Newfoundland and Labrador is calling for a joint, federal/provincial commission of inquiry into fishing vessel safety, and search and rescue response in this province to investigate why incidents and deaths at sea are on the rise. “There is no greater indictment of serious, systemic problems with fishing vessel safety and search and rescue than the rise in mariner deaths,” says Ryan Cleary, SEA-NL’s Executive Director. “Fishing is already one of the most dangerous occupations in the world without lax government oversight increasing those risks.” > click to read < 13:30

SEA-NL supports province issuing new snow crab processing licenses

Seaward Enterprises Association of Newfoundland and Labrador supports the issuance of new snow crab processing licenses as the quickest way to increase industry capacity and reduce pressure on the inshore fleet to fish in potentially unsafe conditions. “We see more processing licenses as the quickest way to take pressure off the inshore fleet,” says Ryan Cleary, SEA-NL’s executive director. “More competition in the processing sector should mean more opportunity for inshore boats to land crab quotas faster, with less expense, and safer for all hands.” “More crab processing capacity will take pressure off the inshore fleet, and that’s the bottom line for SEA-NL,”  >click to read< 14:20

Impact of foreign overfishing as bad as seals; must also be addressed

SEA-NL congratulates the Government of Canada for finally recognizing that seals eat fish but reminds Ottawa that foreign overfishing on/off the Grand Banks is as destructive as ever to commercial stocks. “Seals aren’t the only killer of fish stocks,” says Ryan Cleary, SEA-NL’s Executive Director. “It’s still the wild west outside the 200-mile limit in terms of overfishing by foreign factory-freezer draggers.” Federal Fisheries and Oceans Minister Joyce Murray said Thursday more research is needed on the impact of seals on dwindling East Coast fish stocks in response to a report that said DFO’s science doesn’t go far enough. DFO, however, must consider all factors, including foreign overfishing, on the health of battered East Coast fish stocks. >click to read< 13:16

Trip limits must be addressed in Newfoundland and Labradors snow crab fishery

SEA-NL is demanding Premier Andrew Furey address trip limits in the snow crab fishery or his government may have blood on its hands before the end of the fishing season. “The inshore fleet has one of the most dangerous jobs without trip limits adding to the risk,” says Ryan Cleary, Executive Director of SEA-NL. “Trip limits put pressure on enterprise owners — who are also dealing with the threat of a price drop, and fishery closures in the case of molting or soft-shell crab — to fish in weather they would not ordinarily fish in,” he said. “If government stands idly by and lives are lost this crab fishing season the province will have to answer for them directly.” >click to read< 15:09

The Federal Competition Act

Seaward Enterprises Association of Newfoundland and Labrador (SEA-NL) is calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to include fish pricing in the Federal Competition Act with planned amendments to the legislation. “The only industry in Canada excluded from the Federal Competition Act is the Newfoundland and Labrador fishery, and the inshore fleet pays the price in terms of less money for their fish,” says Ryan Cleary, Executive Director of SEA-NL. In the federal budget released earlier this month, the Trudeau government revealed plans to make amendments to toughen Canadian competition laws. >click to read< 15:42

Mackerel fishery closed, but inshore fleet still wants their licenses

Seaward Enterprises Association of Newfoundland and Labrador (SEA-NL) is calling on Fisheries and Oceans to continue issuing mackerel licenses to existing license holders in the inshore fleet even though the fishery is closed. “Owner-operators want to know their mackerel licenses are safe and will be there for them when the fishery reopens,” says Ryan Cleary, Executive Director of SEA-NL. “Many of them do not trust DFO, there’s no other way to put it.” “A mackerel license represents a major investment of many thousands of dollars — not just for the license itself — but in terms of the fishing enterprise and gear, and owner-operators want to keep their licenses even if it is just for the privilege of not fishing them.” >click to read< 10:13

Russian head of NAFO has stepped down; country must be expelled/fish quotas transferred to Ukraine

Seaward Enterprises Association of Newfoundland and Labrador (SEA-NL) says it’s not enough that the Russian president and chair of the international organization that manages fish stock inside and outside Canada’s 200-mile limit has stepped down. The Russian Federation itself must be expelled from the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization, with the country’s thousands of tonnes of quotas transferred to the Ukraine, another member of the 13-country organization. “Russia has violated every protocol on the face of the earth with its war on Ukraine, and its membership in NAFO should be cancelled outright, and its fish quotas transferred,” says Ryan Cleary, SEA-NL’s Executive Director. “Russian seafood is banned around the world, so it stands to reason that its offshore dragger fleet should not be permitted to fish as a NAFO-member country.” >click to read< 11:50

SEA-NL launches petition to change status of non-core groundfish licenses

SEA-NL has launched a petition urging the House of Commons to change the status of non-core groundfish licenses in this province so they can be sold or handed down. “Non-core license holders are treated like second-class fishermen,” says Jason Sullivan, President of SEA-NL, the distinct voice of the province’s licensed owner-operators. “That must end based on safety-at-sea, and fairness.” DFO’s licensing policy for Newfoundland and Labrador states that non-core groundfish licenses are not eligible for reissuance, meaning they die with the inshore owner-operators who hold them. >click to read<, and sign the petition 11:55

SEA-NL up and running as ‘distinct voice’ of skippers, licensed inshore owner-operators

Seaward Enterprises Association of Newfoundland and Labrador (SEA-NL) elected its first executive during a founding convention earlier this month, and the Board’s first order of business was to hire an Executive Director. “Licensed inshore harvesters finally have an organization to serve as their distinct voice, and their voice alone,” says Jason Sullivan, a Bay Bulls fisherman who was elected SEA-NL President during the virtual convention. >click to read< 11:48

SEA-NL: Standing Fish Price Setting Panel

SEA-NL says an immediate priority for the 2022 inshore fishery is for the province to amend its fish price-setting system to address a weakness that cost harvesters untold millions of dollars in last year’s snow crab fishery alone. “Inshore harvesters were not paid a fair-market return from their snow crab sales in 2021 because a provincial government regulation stood in the way,” says Ryan Cleary, SEA-NL’s interim Executive Director. “The regulation must be amended before the start of the 2022 season, or what little faith that exists in the price-setting system will be gone altogether.”>click to read< 08:05

DFO responds to Ryan Cleary’s allegations of a ‘backroom’ plan 

The interim executive director of Seaward Enterprises Association of Newfoundland and Labrador accused the Department of Fisheries and Oceans of orchestrating a “backroom” plan to rebuild the cod stock off southern Newfoundland and exclude the voice of inshore harvesters. According to Cleary, DFO has assembled a working group, made up of DFO and FFAW union officials, fish processors, indigenous interests and the offshore, sector to develop a rebuilding plan for cod in the 3Ps fishing zone. An official for DFO, however, says when DFO established the working group they invited members of the 3Ps Groundfish Advisory Committee to participate. >click to read< 13:32

DFO forces fishermen to shorten boats, Transport Canada fines them for it

Seaward Enterprises Association of Newfoundland and Labrador (SEA-NL) takes issue with the sudden move by Transport Canada to come down like a hammer on inshore fishermen who’ve had fishing vessels modified or cut in length without advance approval. “Fishermen have been told for years by officials with Transport Canada, Fisheries and Oceans, and their own union that they didn’t need architectural drawings or advance approval to modify or cut a vessel to fish in the under 40’ fleet,” says Ryan Cleary, Interim Executive Director of SEA-NL. “Now the same fishermen are being told they will be locked up, and/or slapped with million-dollar fines if they didn’t do what they were told they didn’t have to do,” added Cleary. “Sounds to me like grounds for a class-action lawsuit.” >click to read< 13:19

Hundreds of thousands of pounds of herring dumped last week due to backward DFO policy

Seaward Enterprises Association of Newfoundland and Labrador condemns the Department of Fisheries and Oceans policy that allowed for the dumping of hundreds of thousands of pounds of herring last week alone. “Any DFO policy that allows for the dumping of fish is a backward policy that must end immediately,” says Ryan Cleary, SEA-NL’s interim Executive Director. “Fishermen should be permitted to land the herring they catch, with the total amount subtracted from the overall quota.” Herring fishermen here in the province say hundreds of thousands of pounds were dumped last week alone as the result of federal policy that sets the small-fish tolerance at 20%. >click to read< 12:35

SEA-NL calls on Premier to draw line in sand for province’s inshore fleet over Gulf redfish

SEA-NL is calling on Premier Andrew Furey to take a stand for the province’s inshore fleet to ensure the sector is the primary beneficiary of the adjacent and exploding redfish stock in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. “Redfish could be to the inshore fleet what Hibernia was to the oil industry, but Premier Furey must draw a line in the sand to get us there,” says Ryan Cleary, interim Executive Director of Seaward Enterprises Association of Newfoundland and Labrador. >click to read< 13:17

Full Steam Ahead! SEA-NL founding convention is scheduled for Nov. 18-19th in Gander

Seaward Enterprises Association of Newfoundland and Labrador (SEA-NL) — a new group formed to represent the province’s more than 3,000 licensed, independent owner-operator fish harvesters — has scheduled its founding convention for Nov. 18-19th at Gander’s Quality Hotel. “It’s full-steam ahead for SEA-NL,” says Ryan Cleary, interim-Executive Director. “Enterprise owners will finally get their own distinct voice in the industry they drive, and, ultimately, achieve a direct say in all decisions that impact their enterprises.” >click to read< 10:14

Search expands for missing Labrador fishermen, family and friends hold out hope

The search for Marc Russell and Joey Jenkins of Mary’s Harbour is now in its fifth day, with a large dive team from the RCMP’s underwater recovery team and Deer Lake ground search and rescue en route to the community Wednesday afternoon. The Ocean Seeker, a vessel equipped with advanced underwater imaging and owned by Kraken Robotics, has also been greenlighted to join the search and is on its way. “We were very proud yesterday after asking RCMP to to look into that asset, and last night it came true and they should be here tomorrow,” said Dwight Russell, Marc Russell’s father. >click to read< 15:55

Search resumes for missing Mary’s Harbour fishermen with Canadian Armed Forces, Coast Guard

The search for two missing fishermen from Mary’s Harbour has resumed with the help of the Canadian Armed Forces and the coast guard Monday, after the official search off the coast of southern Labrador was called off Sunday night. The JRCC tweeted around 9 p.m. Sunday that it had suspended the search for the Island Lady,,, Dwight Russell told CBC News on Monday morning his family was told the news around 7 p.m Sunday. After that call, he and his family pressed federal departments like the office of the prime minister, he said, and had been promised the search would resume. But come Monday morning and that promise “has not materialized,,, >click to read< 14:25

Lost Labrador fishermen

Seaward Enterprises Association of Newfoundland and Labrador has called on the National Commissioner of the RCMP to immediately request that the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre  in Halifax, along with the Canadian Coast Guard, continue search efforts for two missing Labrador fishermen. “We’ve asked RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki in her capacity as the lead agency in the now-recovery mission to order the resumption of the maximum level of search and rescue effort to locate the fishermen,” said Merv Wiseman, an outspoken search and rescue advocate and organizer with SEA-NL. “As long as there’s a chance that these men may be found — and there is that chance — we must move heaven and earth to find them,” Wiseman said. >click to read< 12:26

SEA-NL: Province to review foreign investment in fishery

SEA-NL is encouraged by news that the province has finally commenced a review of its policies related to foreign investment in the fishery, with consultations planned for this fall. “Our message now is for complete transparency,,, Fisheries, Forestry and Agriculture Minister Derrick Bragg wrote SEA-NL on Friday, Sept. 3rd, to reveal his department has begun work on a review of its policies regarding foreign ownership in the fishery. Bragg advised that consultations with industry stakeholders are scheduled for late October-November. The minister’s letter was in response to one written by Cleary to Premier Furey on Aug. 23rd requesting the province investigate foreign control/corporate concentration in the fish processing sector. >click to read< 10:29

SEA-NL: Investigation into foreign control/corporate concentration in fish processing sector required

SEA-NL is calling on Premier Andrew Furey to launch an investigation into foreign control/corporate concentration in the province’s fish processing sector to coincide with a similar ongoing federal review of offshore fishing licences. The federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) is currently reviewing foreign ownership/corporate concentration of offshore licences to prevent foreign interests from establishing effective control over licence-holders. “Ottawa’s review of offshore licences is only half the story, and only half the issues that must be addressed in the province’s fishery,” says Ryan Cleary, interim Executive Director of Seaward Enterprises Association of Newfoundland and Labrador. “The whole story about potential illegal control of offshore and inshore fish quotas won’t be told until the Premier launches a parallel investigation.” >click to read, including the letter< 20:16

DFO and fishing vessel safety – A Damning Indictment of its safety culture

Fisheries and Oceans’ decision not to extend the halibut fishery in the Gulf of St. Lawrence for the province’s inshore harvesters who didn’t catch their quotas due to poor weather is a damning incitement of its safety culture, says Merv Wiseman, an outspoken search and rescue advocate. “DFO is telling fishermen if you don’t go to sea because of bad weather you’re going to lose your fish,”,,, “Putting extra pressure on fishermen to make decisions contrary to safety is a recipe for disaster that we’ve seen play out too many times.” A Transportation Safety Board report into the 2016 drowning of four Shea Heights fishermen found they took a risk in going out in questionable weather in order to land their weekly cod quota, and to recover fishing gear before deadline. >click to read< 07:34

SEA-NL calls for review of the panel system for fish pricing

Seaward Enterprises Association of Newfoundland and Labrador (SEA-NL) says this year’s snow crab fishery had the highest landed value in the province’s history, but there’s evidence inshore harvesters may not have gotten a fair share of market returns. “When the market price of snow crab continued to rise after the final price to inshore harvesters was set at the end of April with no way for harvesters to appeal that price, then the system must be overhauled or scrapped, says Ryan Cleary, interim Executive Director of SEA-NL. “In that light, SEA-NL is asking the Andrew Furey administration to review the panel system of fish pricing.” >click to read< 15:46

SEA-NL accuses federal Fisheries Minister of favouritism. Demands an apology.

Seaward Enterprises Association of Newfoundland and Labrador (SEA-NL) demands the federal Minister of Fisheries and Oceans apologize for showing favouritism to her home province – describing Nova Scotia as “leading the way” in Canada’s seafood sector. “Bernadette Jordan needs to be reminded she’s the Minister for all of Canada – not just Nova Scotia,” says Ryan Cleary, interim Executive Director of SEA-NL, a new and distinct voice for the province’s licensed, owner-operator inshore harvesters. “Premier Andrew Furey himself must ask the Minister whether her goal is to lead the way for jobs and more fish to leave Newfoundland and Labrador,” said Cleary. “It’s time the Furey administration took a stand for the wild commercial fisheries.” >click to read< 14:49